I love all the military styles in fashion right now - and especially the ornate dome buttons lining the vests and jackets. Trouble is, the buttons can be pricey. The least expensive ones I could find at my craft store were $3 each - and I needed 20. Yikes!
Well, remember that cool dime necklace I bought last month? It inspired me. So, John and I took a trip to the hardware store to see what we could use to hammer coins into domes.
Little did we know we'd find THIS:
It's called a Doming Block, and its sole purpose is to hammer things into domes! How cool is that?!?
John has almost every tool known to man, and even *he* didn't know this thing existed. We stumbled across it in one of the aisles, and it was the only one the store had. I'm calling it fate. :D
And look what it does!
It's a little tricky at first, of course, and requires some serious pounding with a giant mallet, but once I got into the swing of things [smirk] I was zipping through the change jar.
John and I also had fun seeing what a difference a blow torch makes - but that's for another post. ("Fire!")
Anyway, once you have your dome pennies, here's all you need to turn them into über cool buttons:
The epoxy putty is dark blue with a white interior, and you knead the two together to activate it. Make sure you work in tiny amounts, though; that five minutes goes fast! Also, plan to have epoxy on your fingers for the next three days. (They claim it washes off, but that's only if you wash it off within those five minutes. Which I didn't.)
Once your epoxy is kneaded together, squish a small amount into the penny and set an O ring in it. Like so:
I never quite got the amounts consistent, but I think it looks best if the epoxy fills the penny completely. Of course, no one ever sees the backside of a button, so it doesn't really matter... unless you're me, or OCD, or both.
Two things to remember when setting your rings:
1) Make sure the jointed side of the O ring is *inside* the epoxy. If it's not, your threads will pull the ring open later.
2) Use a toothpick to check the ring's depth before the epoxy hardens. If the ring is too low you won't get a needle through it later, so give yourself enough room to work with.
I used mine on our new dining room curtains:
From a distance the pennies just look like copper rivets, of course, but I love having a little surprise for friends to discover when they get up close.
We just finished the curtains this week - complete with nautical rope and copper piping tie-backs, which look sooo cool. Those were also made on the cheap; I'll put up a quick tutorial with progress shots soon.
I plan to have lots more fun with my Doming Block: aged quarters make amazing button accents, and I'm eying the new penny shield design for a cool bubble bracelet - I just have to figure out how best to glue the two halves together. Any of you know anything about soldering pennies?
And while I've got you here, do you guys like this tutorial kind of thing? I mean, *I* do, but since I'm still new to non-cake blogging, I'd appreciate your feedback. If there's something you'd rather see more of: art, jewelry, other blogs, me telling funny stories about John, etc., just say the word. I'm sure I could annoy you on all kinds of different subjects. ;)
Note: We found our doming block at Harbor Freight Tools, but if you can't find one locally, Amazon carries the same set for around $50.
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